I have found over a period of time when painting that the first stages had been nearer to what I wanted to achieve, which is of course a moving target.
These recent paintings are the result of spending a lot of time analysing the image which gave me the urge to paint the subject in the first place. The result is capturing the essence, the feeling, the layout, the colours, balance and design and leaving everything out that would confuse this. Therefore, more time looking than painting and avoiding overworking a painting, which then loses these qualities. They have taken longer than a more detailed photographic style, as it is harder to abstract and to keep only the important elements.